Medicare and health insurance through the Marketplace are two different things. While you technically can have both, if you have Medicare, you don’t really need the Health Insurance Marketplace at all. Even if you have Original Medicare only (Part A and Part B), we suggest not looking for health coverage through the Marketplace. Medicare—in general—significantly costs less than any Marketplace plan. Besides the coverage you get will be a lot greater.
One thing that can benefit you in the short run is getting coverage from the health insurance marketplace until your Medicare starts. For example, if you’re 64 this year and your Medicare will begin at some point in 2021, enroll in health coverage on Marketplace and cancel it when your Medicare starts. After canceled though, you must get Medicare coverage once the Initial Enrollment Period starts.
The Initial Enrollment Period has a six months duration. It usually starts three months before turning to age of 65 and ends three months after turning 65. Between these dates, you must enroll in Medicare and cancel your Marketplace plan. Surely, there is going to be a gap between canceling your Marketplace plan and enrolling in Medicare. While it may sound like you will be losing coverage, it isn’t going to be the case. You will still have coverage when transitioning from Marketplace to Medicare.
Enrolling After Initial Enrollment Period
If you decide to keep your Marketplace plan and enroll in Medicare after the Initial Enrollment Period ends, you are most likely to pay a late enrollment penalty for Part B. This late penalty occurs every time you pay for Medicare.
With that said, make sure to not miss the deadline if you plan on getting Medicare coverage. Because the Part B late penalty is paid as long as the beneficiary has Medicare, it is important. Especially if you plan on keeping Medicare for the rest of your life and never going back to a Marketplace plan.
Also, you can enroll in Medicare during the general enrollment period for Medicare. However, if you enroll in Medicare during the general enrollment period, your coverage won’t start until July. Because of this, we suggest enrolling in Medicare once you’re eligible to get coverage as soon as possible and to avoid Part B late penalties.